September 23

4 comments

It’s Scary to Share Your Writing Online; Do It Anyway!

One of the writers in a group I am in just made national news with a political article. 

He has also been called names that I’m not going to repeat in polite company. People have called his place of work. After reading some of the comments he received, I felt the need to take a shower. 

Oh, and that’s the kid glove treatment he gets as a white guy. 

When The Guardian commissioned research into 70 million comments left on its website, it turned out that out of the 10 most abused writers, 8 were women and 2 were Black men. 

In other words, sharing your thoughts online is scary for everyone, and it’s even scarier for those who make up the global majority. 

That’s enough to make anyone withdraw under a blanket and never hit the publish button again. 

Here’s why you shouldn't stop to share your writing online:

  • Sharing your writing online is good for you: it can help you build your audience and business. 
  • It's also good for us when you share your writing online: we need to hear your voice. You have a unique perspective on the world and we want to hear it. 
  • You don’t have to write about topics that are highly controversial if you don’t want to. Writers typically don’t get death threats over self-help articles.
  • If you want to write about something that puts you at risk of online abuse, you can always write under a pen name.
  • Even if a topic is controversial, by writing with nuance and complexity, you can both improve the article and reduce the likelihood of online abuse. 
  • If you publish on a platform you can control (such as your own blog or Medium), you can always delete an article, along with all the nasty comments.
  • Speaking of comments, you can hide comments on Medium or completely disable them on your own blog. 
  • By joining a writer’s group, you can get support from other people who know what it’s like to put themselves out there. 

When people feel fear, they often fall into all-or-nothing thinking: either I go all out by writing the most inflammatory article I can think of or I never blog again. 

However, there is a medium between those extremes. 

Sharing your writing online can bring you so many benefits, from self-expression to financial rewards (for instance, when more people find out about your work). 

Don’t let the worst-case scenario stop you from enjoying these! 

Write something today!

What are your fears about sharing your writing online? Leave me a comment below!

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  • Writing is a great way to build your audience. And comments are good – there might be some nasty ones but there will be some that come from your ideal audience and that’s what you are after. You are lucky when you get comments of any kind – it just means you have broken through the noise!

    • Yes, that’s so true! Getting criticized means that people are paying attention which is a badge of honor for a writer. Thanks for sharing that, Misa.

      I think that’s what many nasty commentators don’t realize… by leaving an abusive comment on Medium or on a Social Media platform, they actually encourage the algorithm to show the article/post to MORE people.

    • Yes, I think we all need to weight the benefits and risks of sharing writing online. And I think it’s such a great way to help people that not doing it isn’t an option for me, either.

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